philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology

14Sep/19Off

This 3D VR Video Explains the Fascinating Math behind Virtual Reality

https://www.interestingengineering.com/video/this-3d-vr-video-explains-the-fascinating-math-behind-virtual-reality 

13Sep/19Off

Another high-flying, heavily funded AR headset startup is shutting down

news-20180525-1-PvsUH9Q0In an email obtained by TechCrunch, Daqri — which built enterprise-grade AR headsets — told its customers that it's pursuing an asset sale and will be shutting down its cloud and smart-glasses hardware platforms by the end of September.

See the full story here: https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/12/another-high-flying-heavily-funded-ar-headset-startup-is-shutting-down/?utm_medium=TCnewsletter&tpcc=TCdailynewsletter

12Sep/19Off

First long-distance heart surgery performed via robot

A doctor in India has performed a series of five percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures on patients who were 20 miles away from him. The feat was pulled off using a precision vascular robot developed by Corindus. The results of the surgeries, which were successful, have just been published in EClinicalMedicine, a spin-off of medical journal The Lancet.

During the remote procedures, Dr. Patel used Corindus' CorPath GRX robot and a hardwired internet connection, manipulating the robot with a set of joysticks and a video monitor. Corindus has performed several remote test cases in the U.S. since, but Dr. Patel's procedure marked a major milestone in medicine.

See the full story here: https://www.zdnet.com/article/first-long-distance-heart-surgery-performed-via-robot/

12Sep/19Off

Empathy, Inc. is a virtual reality thriller for an age of tech cynicism

VCs plus VR in a dark mirror of Silicon Valley

The new film Empathy, Inc. is nominally one of these stories. Written by author Mark Leidner and directed by Yedidya Gorsetman, the film premiered at the Cinepocalypse festival in 2018, and it’s getting a wider theatrical release this week. But Empathy, Inc. isn’t playing in the same field as mind-bending trips like David Cronenberg’s film eXistenZ or the Black Mirror episode “Playtest.” It’s a tragedy grounded in the murky world of tech startups and financial hucksterism — a vision of Silicon Valley where everyone is simultaneously a swindler and a mark.

Empathy, Inc. can arguably be too effective at puncturing the mystique of its own world. It’s a slow-burn thriller with characters who are compellingly drawn but hard to root for. Its predictable premise sometimes helps shift the focus toward interpersonal drama, but it makes characters spend too much time figuring out twists that the audience has probably guessed. Only in the last act, as Joel’s life devolves into disaster, does the action speed up enough to match the plot.

Still, Empathy, Inc. uses a classic science fiction premise to explore contemporary tensions about technology and social class. Is the empathy machine ultimately good or bad? It’s never fully clear because Empathy, Inc.’s revolutionary tech is just a smokescreen — it’s money that shapes the world.

See the full story here: https://www.theverge.com/2019/9/11/20851094/empathy-inc-movie-review-virtual-reality-thriller

12Sep/19Off

Virtual Reality for Teachers

1500x1000-vrsatility-brown-bryant“In Singapore and Tokyo, we saw how comfortable students and teachers were with virtual reality and augmented reality,” says Brown. In Singapore, the two watched students in an aeronautics class scan QR codes that simulated malfunctioning equipment on board a virtual plane and then work in small groups to fix the issue.

Back at HGSE, the two began what they described as “a second job” outside of their Ed.L.D. Program, designing the early version of VRsatility. They spent months testing software and writing scenarios.

“Our big picture is spurring social innovation in education,” Brown says. “We have one more year on campus, and we want to make sure we walk away with a viable project that can go to market.”

See the full story here: https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/19/09/virtual-reality-teachers

12Sep/19Off

HTC Replaces HTC Vive With New $699 Vive Comos VR Headset

cosmos-headset-controller-1-e1568277016938The new Vive Cosmos, which HTC first announced at CES in Las Vegas this past January, will be available for a retail price of $699 starting October 3.

The Vive Cosmos also offers far superior graphics, thanks to LCD display with a combined resolution of 2880 by 1700 pixels. That’s 88% better than the original Vive,...

The company now has to convince consumers that it will deliver on the promise of these mods — something that hasn’t worked well for mobile phone manufacturers in the past. What’s more, the Vive Cosmos costs significantly more than other headsets out there. Facebook’s PC-based Rift S headset retails for $399, and the social networking giant is selling the all-in-one Quest VR headset for $399 as well.

HTC wants to sweeten the deal for the Cosmos by offering consumers who pre-order the device a year’s worth of free access to the company’s Viveport Infinity VR subscription service, which usually costs $13 per month. But ultimately, the company bets on the higher screen resolution to make all the difference. The Vive Cosmos was a premium consumer VR headset, argued O’Brien. “There is a price for that.”

See the full story here: https://variety.com/2019/digital/news/htc-vive-cosmos-release-date-price-1203333291/

12Sep/19Off

Augmented reality – Apple makes it almost reality?

s3-news-tmp-1086-apple--2x1--940The new chipset and the opportunities created by the camera's point in the direction of more augmented reality capabilities. The U1 chip allows for more ‘spatial awareness’ of the device and the enhanced camera should allow for software upgrades in the future that bring functions such as depth sensing to the devices.

The warning that comes with this mission is that there’s a fine line between creating a contextual experience and simply building something out of curiosity.

Customers reject technology if it’s thrust at them without purpose or value. The lesson here is don’t develop things in a vacuum.

Dan Moran is the managing partner, head of product management at Karmarama (Accenture Interactive).

See the full story here: https://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2019/09/11/augmented-reality-apple-makes-it-almost-reality

12Sep/19Off

Wondering Who Did That Painting? There’s an App (or Two) for That

merlin_159007785_409dd48a-bb98-40ff-af66-698205f90f89-superJumboWith companies racing to develop Shazam for art, we see what instant-identification apps really add to your experience in museums and galleries.

Magnus is part of a wave of smartphone apps trying to catalog the physical world as a way of providing instantaneous information about songs or clothes or plants or paintings. First came Shazam, an app that allows users to record a few seconds of a song and instantly identifies it. Shazam’s wild success — it boasts more than a billion downloads and 20 million uses daily, and was purchased by Apple for a reported $400 million last year — has spawned endless imitations. There is Shazam for plants or Shazam for clothes and now, Shazam, for art.

The art-oriented apps harness image recognition technology, each with a particular twist. Magnus has built a database of more than 10 million images of art, mostly crowdsourced, and aims to help prospective art buyers navigate the notoriously information-lite arena of galleries and fairs.

Other apps are geared toward museumgoers: Smartify, for example, takes an educational approach, teaming up with museums and sometimes galleries to upload digitized versions of their collections, wall texts, and information about artists. Google Lens — Google’s advanced image recognition technology — is making new forays into the art world. In June, Google Lens announced a partnership with the de Young Museum in San Francisco to show parts of the museum’s collection. In July, Google began collaborating with Wescover, a platform oriented toward design objects, public and local art, furniture, and craft — enabling you to learn the name of that anonymous painting in your WeWork space or coffee shop.

...

Then there is a more salient question for these platforms: What information can an app provide that will enhance the user’s experience of looking at art? What can a Shazam for art really add?

Mr. Resch’s answer is simple: transparency. Galleries rarely post prices and often don’t provide basic wall text, so one often has to ask for the title or even the artist’s name.

...

It’s telling, perhaps, that even as these apps build out their databases, some museums themselves are starting to shy away from apps altogether. The Metropolitan Museum, which rolled out its own app with fanfare in 2014, shuttered it last year.

See the full story here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/11/arts/design/smartphone-art-app.html?

11Sep/19Off

TCL is experimenting with a personal cinema visor

Unlike Sony, Avegant and Royole's offerings, TCL has shrunk the technology into a pair of relatively svelte sunglasses with a polarizing filter on top. Sound comes out of speakers embedded into each arm, and the headset connects over USB-C to a compatible (TCL) phone. Rather than this being a device that you only use in the comfort of your home, TCL envisages this as something you could wear on the go, or on a train.

The two displays over your eyes are opaque enough for you to watch a movie in relative comfort, but around it everything is semi-transparent.

See the full story here: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/07/tcl-personal-cinema-visor-prototype/

11Sep/19Off

Lenovo, Disney Launch Marvel AR Headset

image002-e1567698643731Lenovo has once again teamed up with Disney to bring one of the studio’s iconic franchises to augmented reality (AR). After first launching the “Star Wars: Jedi Challenges” AR headset in 2017, the two companies are back with a new “Marvel Dimension of Heroes” experience running on slightly revamped hardware.

News of Lenovo and Disney working on this product was first reported by Variety in April.

Now called the Lenovo Mirage AR headset, the device once again relies on a consumer’s phone, and an app that can be downloaded for free, to super-impose pictures over their view of the real world. “You are still grounded in your world,” said Lenovo senior product marketing manager Wahid Razali. “You are bringing the heroes into your space.”

And while the first iteration of the headset shipped with lightsaber controllers, this new version comes with a pair of more generic grip controllers that can be used to power a variety of games.

See the full story here: https://variety.com/2019/digital/news/lenovo-disney-marvel-ar-mirage-heroes-1203324652/